One-on-one with Heather Carr, wife of Las Vegas Raiders Quarterback Derek Carr

Heather Carr, wife of Derek, says she's still just as excited today as she was during the early days at Fresno State.

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Tuesday, September 20, 2022 4:04AM
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While Derek Carr handles business on the football field, behind the scenes, it's his wife, Heather, who handles business in their home.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- On the outskirts of so-called 'Sin City' is Derek and Heather Carr's sanctuary.

Their home is tucked away in a quiet, gated community.

But it's only a short drive from Allegiant Stadium, where Derek is the starting quarterback for the Las Vegas Raiders.

Heather Carr, now a mother of four and considered a veteran NFL wife, says she's still just as excited today as she was during the early days at Fresno State.

"It really never gets old. It hits me the same," Heather said.

Heather met Derek while they were both in college.

She was a waitress at a local restaurant and Derek was a customer who wanted to get Heather's attention.

"I just happened to walk by and he did his silly pick up line of 'Why are you only wearing one earring?' And at the time, you know, it makes you check your earrings and so I hit him and I was like 'What do you mean? I have two in.' And so that was like his ice breaker to start talking to me." Heather said.

Another server told Heather that Derek was the up-and-coming Fresno State quarterback.

"I was just like 'Ugh, I don't want anything to do with that.' The typical football guy, right?" Heather said.

So when Derek asked for her number, she gave him the wrong one.

The next day, he went back to her work, told her he tried calling and knew the number was wrong.

"He said, well, how about this? I'll give you my number and, when you're ready, you can call me." Heather said.

Two to three weeks later, she did. The two eventually started dating, connecting on common interests and their faith.

But a defining moment in their relationship came in Derek's early college days when he, admittedly, strayed away from what the Bible taught him.

Heather wrote him a letter telling him he wasn't who she thought he was.

"And, if you ask Derek, that's what changed him. And so I feel like the Lord just worked out that situation so perfectly, but looking back, it was the toughest thing to do," Heather said.

The two continued their relationship and got married in June of 2012.

They welcomed their first son, Dallas, in August of 2013.

Heather says she and Derek had to lean on their faith as Dallas, just hours old, was rushed into surgery at Valley Children's Hospital for tangled intestines, a potentially life-threatening abnormality.

Dallas had to have a second surgery. And then a third.

As Dallas was going in for the third surgery Heather says she asked God for a sign.

"I remember Dallas was sleeping and he woke up and he winked at me and I was like 'Thank you, Lord! This is the sign I needed that we're going to get through this.' I get teared up because it was just so emotional at that time." Heather said.

Dallas made a full recovery after that surgery.

Heather held him in the stands as they cheered on Derek through the rest of his Fresno State career.

In 2014, Derek made it to the NFL.

He was drafted in the second round by the, then, Oakland Raiders.

"We were so thankful we still got to be close to home," Heather said.

Heather and Derek leaned on David and Melody Carr in their transition into professional football.

After settling in, Derek and Heather started growing their family and welcomed their second son, Deker, in March of 2016.

In 2019, they welcomed another little boy, Deakon.

That same year, the Raiders organization decided to leave Oakland and moved to Las Vegas.

"We were very sad to leave Oakland and all the history of it, but we're thankful for the new beginnings," Heather said.

Then the pandemic hit.

Shortly after moving, Heather says she and Derek got what they call a 'surprise blessing,' a little girl they named Brooklyn who was born in November of 2020.

"She was not planned, but the Lord just blessed us with her. He always knew I wanted it a baby girl," Heather said.

Throughout the years, Derek and Heather have never forgotten their time in Fresno, or their 23-day stay at Valley Children's Hospital.

"With going into the NFL, we wanted to give back and in the NFL, you get to pick your cause and so that was always our cause was Valley Children's," Heather said.

They've created the DC4Kids Touchdown Challenge, which helps raise money to support the hospital.

These days you can find Heather, Dallas, Deker, Deakon and Brooklyn on the sidelines, decked out in silver and black, cheering on Derek.

And Heather being a support system for him behind the scenes.

"Some days he comes home, he's quiet, he's tired. Just making sure he always knows that I'm here to encourage him, support him, do I need to do anything for you," Heather explained.

While Derek leads the Raiders on the field, Heather helps lead the player's girlfriends, fiancés and wives in a weekly Bible study group.

She's also helping create a Parent Teacher Association at her children's school and says, overall, she's aiming to be a support system for other women around her.

"Taking people alongside me and just being there for them. I think that's something I just really enjoy doing," Heather said.

Derek and Heather recently celebrated their 10 year wedding anniversary with a "Still Do" barbeque.

She believes someday, when Derek retires from the NFL, they'll move into ministry, but, for now, their goal is to win the Super Bowl this season.

She's not taking a single moment for granted.

"As soon as Derek runs out of the tunnel, I still tear up 'til this day. It is just - I just think back - I think, wow, this is just such a blessing to be here. That the Lord has kept us here for our 9th season? It's just incredible."